2 Chronicles 32 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
Assyria Troubles Hezekiah
32 Hezekiah did all these things to serve the Lord. Sennacherib king of Assyria came to attack Judah. He and his army surrounded and attacked the strong, walled cities. He wanted to take them for himself. 2 Hezekiah knew that Sennacherib had come to Jerusalem to attack it. 3 So Hezekiah talked to his officers and army commanders. They decided to cut off the waters from the springs outside the city. So the officers and commanders helped Hezekiah. 4 Many people came to help. They cut off all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. They said, “The king of Assyria will not find much water when he comes here.” 5 Then Hezekiah made Jerusalem stronger. He rebuilt all the broken parts of the wall. And he built towers on the wall. He also built another wall outside the first one. And he made the area that was filled in on the east side of the old part of Jerusalem stronger. He made many weapons and shields.
6 Hezekiah put army commanders over the people. He met with these commanders at the open place near the city gate. Hezekiah encouraged them, saying, 7 “Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid or worried because of the king of Assyria or his large army. There is a greater power with us than with him. 8 He only has men, but we have the Lord our God. He will help us. He will fight our battles.” The people were encouraged by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
9 King Sennacherib of Assyria and all his army surrounded and attacked Lachish. Then he sent his officers to Jerusalem with a message. The message was for King Hezekiah of Judah and all the people of Judah in Jerusalem. This was the message:
10 Sennacherib king of Assyria says this: “You have nothing to trust in to help you. It is no use for you to stay in Jerusalem under attack. 11 Hezekiah says to you, ‘The Lord our God will save us from the king of Assyria.’ But he is fooling you. If you stay in Jerusalem, you will die from hunger and thirst. 12 Hezekiah himself removed your Lord’s places of worship and altars. He told you people of Judah and Jerusalem that you must worship and burn incense on only one altar.
13 “You know what my ancestors and I have done to all the people in other nations. The gods of those nations could not save their people from my power. 14 My ancestors destroyed those nations. None of their gods could save them from me. So your god cannot save you from my power. 15 Do not let Hezekiah fool you or trick you. Do not believe him. No god of any nation or kingdom has been able to save his people from me or my ancestors. Your god is even less able to save you from me.”
16 Sennacherib’s officers said worse things against the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah. 17 King Sennacherib also wrote letters insulting the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what his letters said: “The gods of the other nations could not save their people from me. In the same way Hezekiah’s god won’t be able to save his people from me.” 18 Then the king’s officers shouted out in Hebrew. They called out to the people of Jerusalem who were on the city wall. The officers wanted to scare the people away so they could capture Jerusalem. 19 They said evil things about the gods the people of the world worshiped. They are only things people have made with their hands. In the same way the officers said evil things about the God of Jerusalem.
20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed to heaven about this. 21 Then the Lord sent an angel to the king of Assyria’s camp. That angel killed all the soldiers, leaders and officers of the Assyrian army. So the king of Assyria returned to his own country in disgrace. He went into the temple of his god. There some of his own sons killed him with a sword.
22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people in Jerusalem. He saved them from Sennacherib king of Assyria and from all other people. The Lord took care of Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem. 23 Many people brought gifts for the Lord to Jerusalem. They also brought valuable gifts to King Hezekiah of Judah. From then on all the nations respected Hezekiah.
24 At that time Hezekiah became very sick. He was almost dead. He prayed to the Lord. And the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign.[a] 25 But Hezekiah was proud. So he did not thank God for his kindness. So the Lord was angry with him and the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 26 But later Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem were sorry and stopped being proud. So the Lord did not punish them while Hezekiah was alive.
27 Hezekiah had many riches and much honor. He made treasuries for his silver, gold, gems, spices, shields and other valuable things. 28 Hezekiah built storage buildings for grain, new wine and oil. He built stalls for all the cattle and pens for the sheep. 29 He also built many towns. He had many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. God gave Hezekiah much wealth.
30 It was Hezekiah who cut off the upper pool of the Gihon spring. He made those waters flow straight down on the west side of the older part of Jerusalem. And Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. 31 But one time the leaders of Babylon sent messengers to Hezekiah. They asked him about a strange sign[b] that had happened in the land. When they came, God left Hezekiah alone to test him. He wanted to know everything that was in Hezekiah’s heart.[c]
32 Hezekiah’s love for the Lord and the other things he did as king are recorded. They are written in the vision of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. This is in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 Hezekiah died and was buried on a hill. It is where the graves of David’s ancestors are. All the people of Judah and Jerusalem honored Hezekiah when he died. And Hezekiah’s son Manasseh became king in his place.
2 Chronicles 32 New International Version (NIV)
Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem
32 After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself. 2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to wage war against Jerusalem, 3 he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off the water from the springs outside the city, and they helped him. 4 They gathered a large group of people who blocked all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. “Why should the kings[a] of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” they said. 5 Then he worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it. He built another wall outside that one and reinforced the terraces[b] of the City of David. He also made large numbers of weapons and shields.
6 He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate and encouraged them with these words: 7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. 8 With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.
9 Later, when Sennacherib king of Assyria and all his forces were laying siege to Lachish, he sent his officers to Jerusalem with this message for Hezekiah king of Judah and for all the people of Judah who were there:
10 “This is what Sennacherib king of Assyria says: On what are you basing your confidence, that you remain in Jerusalem under siege? 11 When Hezekiah says, ‘The Lord our God will save us from the hand of the king of Assyria,’ he is misleading you, to let you die of hunger and thirst. 12 Did not Hezekiah himself remove this god’s high places and altars, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before one altar and burn sacrifices on it’?
13 “Do you not know what I and my predecessors have done to all the peoples of the other lands? Were the gods of those nations ever able to deliver their land from my hand? 14 Who of all the gods of these nations that my predecessors destroyed has been able to save his people from me? How then can your god deliver you from my hand? 15 Now do not let Hezekiah deceive you and mislead you like this. Do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my predecessors. How much less will your god deliver you from my hand!”
16 Sennacherib’s officers spoke further against the Lord God and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 The king also wrote letters ridiculing the Lord, the God of Israel, and saying this against him: “Just as the gods of the peoples of the other lands did not rescue their people from my hand, so the god of Hezekiah will not rescue his people from my hand.” 18 Then they called out in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to terrify them and make them afraid in order to capture the city. 19 They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as they did about the gods of the other peoples of the world—the work of human hands.
20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. 21 And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons, his own flesh and blood, cut him down with the sword.
22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all others. He took care of them[c] on every side. 23 Many brought offerings to Jerusalem for the Lord and valuable gifts for Hezekiah king of Judah. From then on he was highly regarded by all the nations.
Hezekiah’s Pride, Success and Death
24 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. 25 But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.
27 Hezekiah had very great wealth and honor, and he made treasuries for his silver and gold and for his precious stones, spices, shields and all kinds of valuables. 28 He also made buildings to store the harvest of grain, new wine and olive oil; and he made stalls for various kinds of cattle, and pens for the flocks. 29 He built villages and acquired great numbers of flocks and herds, for God had given him very great riches.
30 It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David. He succeeded in everything he undertook. 31 But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.
32 The other events of Hezekiah’s reign and his acts of devotion are written in the vision of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 Hezekiah rested with his ancestors and was buried on the hill where the tombs of David’s descendants are. All Judah and the people of Jerusalem honored him when he died. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king.